Due to the COVID situation our team was gathered at the beginning of June, which is late. So we needed to find our project rapidly. We started with brainstorming sessions in June and finally chose our project in the last week of June. Since that day, we never stopped thinking about it, searching for more information and ideas and trying to nail a project that could be done in 4 months. Considering that our institutions teach synthetic biology, we all had different classes, so with what we’ve got from those classes and what we’ve found on the internet, we tried to find every detail that we needed to build our project. It’s only the first week of August that Julien and Iman with the help of Elsa and Thomas started the lab work.
Julien CASALENGO was one of the two students that performed the lab experiment this summer. He was there for the whole wetlab part and made all the experiments with Iman during the month of August. In addition, he managed to come to the lab in September between the classes to set up short experiments as soon as he could. He also wrote the wetlab part of the wiki. He helped the survival of Phagent when we had 1 project out of 3 to choose from and worked on the conception and accomplishment of the project, he also did the necessary research and bibliography to prove the feasibility of the idea. He was also involved in designing the parts. Alicia DA SILVA is our second wonder woman, she was always there to keep up to date with the project's progress, but also to manage problems, she was there to put the team in order. She managed the administrative side of the project and she also engaged herself in the communication part. She was the one who posted every week the episodes of the mini-series and she also managed the communication between the Montpellier team and the other teams around the world. With all those tasks she also managed to raise some funds for the project and worked on the realization of the educational book of Phagent. In addition, she set up the project acceptability survey, analyzed the results, and worked on the human practices part of the project. She gave all she had to set up the code of the wiki with the help of Jocelyn. With Juliette, she worked on the presentation and the poster but also in designing the primers and the parts. Theo HERAIL was the one that came out with our problem and project idea and who has done all the necessary research to allow us to move forward, to know which phage to use and which bacteria we are going to infect. He did a great job on bibliographical research and designing the experimental process. He also worked with Julien to find protocols or the material to use for the lab. He was also involved in the modeling to help Juliette and on the wiki. He also worked on the implementation of Phagent. Juliette MOREAU did an amazing job on the modeling part but also gave a lot of herself in all other aspects of the project: designing the parts and primers to be able to use them in the lab, creating the summer mini-series for our communication and education actions. Every time we had a question, she had the answer even if she wasn't in the lab. She also made the videos for our project, and worked a lot on the wiki, such as the coding but also writing many pages, commenting, and editing others. She always had an eye on the calendar and was aware of all the necessary deadlines to follow and keep us updated. Last but not least she worked with Alicia on the presentation and the poster creation but also designing the primers, and designing the parts. Baddredine ZAIDI was our video game master: he had the idea to do an educational video game and actually developed it. He implemented all the team’s ideas on it, to allow it to progress better and create different levels with educational content. He worked on the educational part of the project. He was also active on the fundraising part. Iman TSABET, like Julien, was present to do the experiments in the laboratory during the month of August, and she also allowed the progress of the acceptability survey by giving some ideas. Safa IOUI allowed us to move forward in the project by giving our information to different companies and allowing us to get funding. For some videos, all the team was present to highlight the iGEM Montpellier team.
They were all present to support us, give us advice but also to enable us to move forward in the project. Jerome BONNET welcomed us at CBS and allowed us to have a lab space to do our experiments. He helped us all along the project to organize ourselves well, to put an order in the group, but also to wake up on the deadlines and requirements, always there to help us with the project progress and to know what question to ask ourselves. He helped us a lot in the ideation phase of the project. During our meetings he was the one that allowed us to see where our mistakes were and where we can improve, developing our own criticism. He also helped the team with financial and material support so big high five to him. Guillaume CAMBRAY helped us in understanding the parts, but also helped us on the cloning and design, and answered all the questions we had on the experimental part of the project. He is the one that helped us in the whole process from designing the primers, finding vectors, designing parts, and finally cloning them in the lab by showing us protocols. He also helped us in analyzing the results and finding where we made mistakes during the lab process. He is a nice guy. Diego CATTONI, in the same way as Jerome, allowed us to get on the right track, to know where our mistakes were, but also allowed us to figure out what questions needed to be answered. He also helped us during the lab experiments, staying late to allow us to finish our experiments. Luca CIANDRINI was our cement during the confinement: he allowed us to manage the brainstorming sessions, the meetings, he was the first one to animate the sessions and give ideas to bring people together, people who had never met each other in real before. He was the one that started the iGEM recruitment and handled all the organization parts at the beginning of this year to get an iGEM team and he was always there when we needed help. He helped Juliette a lot with the modeling, allowing her to know what to do, and give ideas of possibilities when modeling. Christine DOUCET was the one that handled the organization of the team during this year. She was always there to solve issues and organize meetings when needed, asking good questions, and giving good support. She was also there to help us during the summer with the lab part staying late to allow us to stay in the lab and train us on some of the experiments. She also helped us a lot with the human practice part, on the design of the survey as well as to find a way to analyze the survey results. She also took care to remind us of the coming deadlines and be sure we were on time on the project. She is perfect.
Peter VOYVODIC was one of our PI this year and was there one the meeting to give us advice and ideas during our project research. He was then there this summer during the lab experiments.
Thomas BESSEDE helped Iman and Julien a lot during the experiments in the lab, but also during the design of the parts, and the use of the different software necessary to be able to produce good composites, plasmids, ... (Blenching, NBS, ...). He guided us during the summer thanks to his iGEM experience from last year. He had done earlier an internship in a lab working with phages and he helped us a lot with his expertise on that. Jocelyn COIFFARD, the bug seeker, he helped Juliette and Alicia a lot with the coding part of the wiki, he was there to give us advice on how we could arrange the wiki, and how we should present things. Elsa FRISTOT helped us a lot, always there to answer our questions in case of problems. First of all, at the beginning of this experience, she introduced us to last year’s team, allowing us to get back in touch with iGEM. She was there during the wetlab experiments to help and train Iman and Julien. She also gives us advice on the way to perform fundraising and how to navigate the iGEM competition. Thanks to her we had the best advice to make a good presentation in front of the jury, who told us what objectives we have not yet fulfilled for iGEM, what to do, and how. She has an amazing experience of iGEM, being a previous team member, and a previous judge, she knows both sides of the iGEM coin and she was a mine of information, criticisms, and advice.
Also thanks to:
Aristide BUIRETTE: He is the one who made the logo possible, with the help of his mother Helène GINESTET a former managing director that found the colors that we needed to use and also the shape of it. He also helped us to understand more about the survey, what could be the most efficient way to do it. Florence COUSSON GELIE: She helped us to make our survey, she took time to explain how to design it, advised us on the approach to use, which questions, how to write them so as not to influence the subjects, which people we are going to study in order to have as little bias as possible and how to analyze the results. Flavia FRANJA DA SILVA: She helped us doing the design of the game.